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Midterms, projects, quizzes, exams, due dates. All of these are part of students’ lives. All of them are associated with stress by many students.

According to the Penn State Center for Collegiate Mental Health annual report, one of the top reasons students seek mental health services is stress. The following is a list that will help you reduce or even prevent feeling stress for school, work and life.

1. Physical Activity

Exercise or any other physical activity releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which are known as natural painkillers.

This helps the body remain active and focus its efforts on things other than what causes the stress.

“Exercising makes your brain more active,” said Seung Hyung Lee, a freshman studying data science. “I do my homework beforehand, so I don’t get stressed, but when I get stressed I do exercise.”

2. Right amount of Sleep

Getting enough sleep reduces the effects of stress. As stress increases, the amount of sleep decreases. A study by the Research Center for Work Safety & Human Engineering, showed that lack of sleep has a negative effect on a person’s mood and intensifies negative emotions.

3. Relaxation Techniques

Just like exercise, meditation releases chemicals in the brain like endorphins, which help control stress, anxiety and even improve overall health. Some meditations take less than 10 minutes and only require silence and breathing.

4. Talk to Someone

“I always make sure I seek for help,” said George Mphaka, a senior studying accounting. “There is no shame in asking people for help when you’re stressed out.”

Teachers and other professionals are there to help.

“The more I get to know my professor, the more I feel comfortable and confident to approach him and ask some questions,” Mphaka said.

Talking with someone is a way to resolve doubts and get things out in the open. BYU-Idaho offers those services at the Student Counseling Center.

Through the BYU-Idaho Counseling Center, students can receive assistance in managing life’s challenges in a safe environment with a professional counselor.

5. One step at a time

Thinking that there are 10 assignments and less than a week to finish them can be stressful.

Seth Conklin, a senior studying computer science, said it’s easier to handle many assignments by focusing on one at a time.

“When you’re done with the one, move onto the next,” Conklin said. “It becomes more manageable.”

Prioritizing and taking every task one step at a time is one way that has helped students get control of the situation and finish tasks and assignments on time without stressing out.

6. Make time for hobbies

Finding the balance between work, study and personal time is a tool many students find effective.

“Take a break for a moment,” said Jennifer Bartlett, a senior studying Spanish education. “I eat something yummy, watch a movie or do something fun, and then I go back and I’m more efficient with the things I have to do.”

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